Come Together: A New Approach to Community Benches
In the ever-evolving, and not to mention rapidly growing, world in which we live, the problems of public transit, communal spaces and human interaction in general are forever tricky. From the early urban planning of Barcelona centuries ago to the crowded subways of New York City today, the question of how to accommodate the masses’ needs — not just today, but years, decades, even centuries from now — is largely unanswered, although plenty are certainly doing their best to try. One such pair of dreamer/doers is Yvonne Fehling and Jennie Peiz, whose Kraud design studio out of Denmark is responsible for a perplexing set of public seating options. Their series of community benches, called Stuhlhockerbank, is — in Fehling and Peiz’s words — “a series of seating for public spaces that approach users and viewers in an extraordinary way. The dividing lines between different types of furniture (chair, stool, bench) are eliminated as the three types blend. The results are immobile constellations that express a person’s inner stance in the particular situation.” Frankly, we’re not entirely sure what that means, but imagine stepping off a train or plane and being faced with this sort of seating option. Wonder if it might make us more likely to chat up our neighbors as we wait for our next connection? Only a real-life test would tell for sure… but in any event, it’s certainly something to think about. Fehling and Peiz have created several iterations of the concept in their Denmark studio.